Analysis

Kareem Hunt’s “personal” game didn’t go as planned

The Browns running back had everyone believing he was going to have a career day during his revenge game in the divisional round, but ultimately he fell short at the end of the day.

Unless you were sleeping under a rock or in a coma during the 2017 & 2018 seasons, then you know how marvelous Kareem Hunt’s 27-game span as a Kansas City Chief was. Those first two seasons were magical for the Chiefs and Kareem. It sky-rocketed him to superstardom in the NFL after leading the league in rushing yards his rookie year (1,327 yds).

So when Hunt claimed that the divisional round matchup against the Chiefs this past Sunday was “personal,” the natural response was to worry about exactly how much of the old Kareem was going to be playing again in Arrowhead.

Hunt showed two or three glimpses of his old self, like his 10-yard rush at the beginning of the 4th quarter to get into Kansas City’s red zone, where he would ultimately run in a three-yard TD (below), but he left a lot on the table thanks to the power of the Chiefs’ D-Line.

For the most part, Hunt was held back by the likes of Chris Jones and a revitalized Anthony Hitchens, averaging 5.3 yards/carry on his lowly six carries in the game for a grand total of…*drum roll please*…32 yards. Add in the two yards from his one reception and Hunt’s revenge game only yielded 34 total yards and the one touchdown.

Kareem Hunt’s shining moment against his former team.

With the 3-yard TD run bringing the score within five points with plenty of time left on the clock for more possessions, Hunt was on top of the world in his own mind. After the TD, he celebrated by laying his head on the ball like he used to do when we wore red-and-yellow.

One of Kareem Hunt’s most identifiable celebrations was put on display on Sunday but it was also on display after this TD run back in 2017.

After Hunt’s announcement that the game was “personal” after his two-TD performance in the Wild Card victory over Pittsburgh, Coach Reid was asked about him in a press conference, Reid replied he was “…glad things were going well for (Hunt),” and that he’s “…happy for him that things are going in the right direction.”

In the end, Hunt and Coach Reid embraced each other on the field after backup QB Chad Henne and WR Tyreek Hill put the final dagger in the Browns’ coffin on a gutsy 4th-and-1 call, showing that there were no harsh feelings between them.

Hunt will get another opportunity next season to show Kansas City what he’s made of, but it will obviously not have the same feeling as this divisional round matchup did.

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